March 28, 2005

been busy

sorry folks, I've been busy job and apartment hunting as well as hanging out with friends. I also think I'm burned out with posting pics for now.
Life's been good despite all the uncertainty. I have a variety of friends here now. Then there's the feeling of being in the right place at the right time.

Posted by Christine at 07:49 PM | Comments (2)

March 16, 2005

view near the ferry pier


Lamma Island is the 3rd largest island in HK. The first time I visited, I fell in love with it. The scenery is awe inspiring, the air is clean and I can ride a bike here. There is an interesting mix of locals and ex-pats which I like. I like to live in a culturally diverse place. And the prices for stuff here is even cheaper than what I pay in Yau Ma Tei. I'd have to take a ferry to work but the whole commute (assuming I don't just miss the ferry) should take me about 1 hour which is okay. Right now, my commute is like 45 mins. Rents are very cheap here (by HK standards) because only freaks like me want to live so far away from 24 hour convenience stores and designer clothing shops. While I'm sure I'll be eaten alive by insects, it's better than breathing in exhaust fumes and constantly being surrounded by coughing, sneezing people. The village centers of Lamma have a Kensington Market (in Toronto) kind of feel to them. I've always wanted to live on a tropical island (though Lamma is semi-tropical, that works for me). I can get so much exercise hiking and bicycling. I hope I can make this work out for me.

Posted by Christine at 09:04 PM | Comments (2)

rooftop view 4


the view isn't as nice from all sides but 3 out of 4 is fine by me :-)

Posted by Christine at 08:53 PM

rooftop view 3


Posted by Christine at 08:50 PM | Comments (1)

rooftop view 2


Posted by Christine at 08:48 PM

rooftop view


This is a huge plus for me concerning this place. Lots of space to spin sticks or poi, exercise, skywatch and throw little BBQ parties.

Posted by Christine at 08:47 PM



bathtubs are rare to find in HK bathrooms and this one is so deep too. The other place had 2 bathrooms but no bathtub which is a big negative for me.

Posted by Christine at 08:44 PM

tiny kitchen


like most HK places, the kitchen is tiny. But this place has a fridge and washing machine. And this kitchen is on par with the one I am using now in Yau Ma Tei. Actually it is better because I can cook with gas here (but still no oven) The kitchen in the other place I liked had a much nicer kitchen but no washing machine.

Posted by Christine at 08:41 PM

living room


it's small but if it's just me living there, then it is fine. There are 2 other small rooms (heh, I think this would be the first place I've lived where there are other rooms ;-) I figured one room could be a guest room and the other could be my bedroom. The whole place is like 400 sq ft. I saw a beautiful 700 sq foot place- with nice furnature, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms. The walls and floors were new and looked great. But it is like 2000 HKD more a month, doesn't have rooftop access, and the view isn't as nice so even though this one is smaller and not as nice, I am leaning towards this one (which is 3500 HKD a month).

Posted by Christine at 08:36 PM | Comments (1)

living room view 2

The balcony is only like a half foot wide but it would be a nice place to put plants and get some fresh air.

Posted by Christine at 08:31 PM

living room view


you can see and hear so many birds.

Posted by Christine at 08:28 PM

green awning


the one with the green awning is the building with the apt I liked most.

Posted by Christine at 08:27 PM

path to apt


If I get the place I really like, this would be part of the path I'd take daily to get to the ferry or village center- it's only a 15 min walk and beautifully scenic.

Posted by Christine at 08:26 PM

only kind of motor vehicle allowed on Lamma Island


Posted by Christine at 08:24 PM

Pak Kok, Lamma Island 12


Posted by Christine at 08:22 PM

Pak Kok, Lamma Island 11


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Pak Kok, Lamma Island 10


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Pak Kok, Lamma Island 9


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Pak Kok, Lamma Island 8


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Pak Kok, Lamma Island 7


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Pak Kok, Lamma Island 6


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Pak Kok, Lamma Island 5


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Pak Kok, Lamma Island 4


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Pak Kok, Lamma Island 3


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Pak Kok, Lamma Island 2


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Pak Kok, Lamma Island


Posted by Christine at 08:05 PM

March 12, 2005

free acrobatics show 17


Posted by Christine at 06:53 PM

clown from acrobatics show


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free acrobatics show 15


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free acrobatics show 14


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free acrobatics show 14


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free acrobatics show 13


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free acrobatics show 12


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free acrobatics show 11


Posted by Christine at 06:43 PM

March 09, 2005

free acrobatics show 10


Posted by Christine at 10:40 PM

free acrobatics show 9


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free acrobatics show 8


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free acrobatics show 7


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free acrobatics show 6


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free acrobatics show 5


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free acrobatics show 4


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free acrobatic show 3


Posted by Christine at 10:32 PM

free acrobatics show 2


Posted by Christine at 10:31 PM

free acrobatic show 1


Posted by Christine at 10:29 PM

ad in Central MTR station


only in Hong Kong would this be okay

Posted by Christine at 10:23 PM

Central, HK Isle 3


Posted by Christine at 10:21 PM

birds in a tree, HK isle


yes, I know bamboo is a grass but when it is high above my head, I equate it to tree standing ;-)

Posted by Christine at 10:20 PM

nice tree, HK isle


Posted by Christine at 10:19 PM

street market on HK isle 1


keep in mind this is taken on a weekday holiday afternoon, not nearly as crowded as I've seen this street market before.

Posted by Christine at 10:13 PM

near the botanical gardens 2


Posted by Christine at 10:12 PM

near the botanical gardens


Posted by Christine at 10:10 PM

art gallery in Central, HK isle


This building if I recall correctly is one of the oldest buildings in Central and used to be an ice factory.

Posted by Christine at 10:09 PM

Mid Levels, HK isle 3


Posted by Christine at 10:07 PM

Mid Levels, HK isle 2


The Mid levels is a prime real estate area and where most of the gweilo in HK live.

Posted by Christine at 10:06 PM

HK's version of the Keg


in Lan Kwai Fong

Posted by Christine at 10:05 PM

Lan Kwai Fong 3


It was V-day and during Lunar New Year when I took this picture. HK for the most part doesn't celebrate V-day but the HK 'V-day' is 2 weeks after Lunar New Year. It wraps up the formal celebrations (the first full moon of the lunar new year), a lantern festival so potential lovers can find one another.

Posted by Christine at 10:03 PM

Lan Kwai Fong 2


Posted by Christine at 09:59 PM

Lan Kwai Fong


HK's gweilo trendy club street

Posted by Christine at 09:58 PM

black cat, mid levels HK isle


Posted by Christine at 09:56 PM

Mid Levels, HK isle


Can you imagine living somewhere that you can leave your bags somewhere unattended and still find them when you come back? In the South China Morning Post- HK's English newspaper- I always see classified ads from HK police dept stating that they found a sum of money or a laptop or something else of value, come claim it if you left it behind.

Posted by Christine at 09:55 PM


pretty much the only club that plays any dnb here

Posted by Christine at 09:50 PM

SOHO, HK isle 5


Posted by Christine at 09:48 PM

SOHO, HK isle 4


Posted by Christine at 09:46 PM

SOHO, HK isle 3


Posted by Christine at 09:45 PM

SOHO, HK isle 2


Posted by Christine at 09:44 PM

SOHO, HK isle 1


Posted by Christine at 09:44 PM

Wildfire restaurant

I found this restaurant on HK isle the day I heard of my friend Nasu's death. He helped to create a fire poi performing troupe named Wildfire in Chicago.

Posted by Christine at 09:43 PM

outdoor escalators, HK isle


supposedly HK holds some world record for these.

Posted by Christine at 09:40 PM

steep steps, HK isle


Posted by Christine at 07:23 PM

gate to HK botanical gardens


Posted by Christine at 07:22 PM

Central, HK Isle 2


Posted by Christine at 07:21 PM

friendly HK, Central


Posted by Christine at 07:20 PM

Central, HK Isle 1


Posted by Christine at 07:18 PM

another version of protest sign


Posted by Christine at 07:17 PM

protest sign found in Central


Posted by Christine at 07:16 PM

Charter Garden, Central, HK isle 3


Posted by Christine at 07:15 PM

Charter Garden, Central, HK isle 2


Posted by Christine at 07:13 PM

Charter Garden, Central, HK isle


Posted by Christine at 07:13 PM

bus depot in Stanley


Posted by Christine at 07:11 PM

Stanley Plaza from above 2


Posted by Christine at 07:00 PM

Stanley Plaza from above 1


Posted by Christine at 06:58 PM

cool tree trunks, Stanley


Posted by Christine at 06:57 PM

cool tree leaves, Stanley


Posted by Christine at 06:55 PM

Stanley 56


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Stanley 55


Posted by Christine at 06:52 PM

Stanley Plaza 7


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Stanley Plaza 6


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Stanley Plaza 5


Posted by Christine at 06:49 PM

obnoxious ad for ads


on Feng Shui lane, heh.

Posted by Christine at 06:48 PM

Tin Hau temple in Stanley 5


Posted by Christine at 06:46 PM

Tin Hau temple in Stanley 4


Posted by Christine at 06:45 PM

Tin Hau temple in Stanley 3


Posted by Christine at 06:44 PM

Tin Hau temple in Stanley 2


Posted by Christine at 06:44 PM

Tin Hau temple in Stanley 1


Posted by Christine at 06:43 PM

Stanley Plaza 4


Posted by Christine at 06:42 PM

March 07, 2005

rare Pepsi ad


It is very rare to find Pepsi products anywhere in HK. It's easy to find Coca-Cola products here. Earlier in the day at Stanley, Pepsi had some promotion going on where they gave out tons of free cans of Pepsi.

Posted by Christine at 06:58 PM

Stanley Plaza 3


Posted by Christine at 06:56 PM

another Stanley cat


Posted by Christine at 06:55 PM

March 06, 2005

cat in Stanley


Posted by Christine at 07:47 PM

tiny bouquets


Posted by Christine at 07:46 PM

fisherperson house in Stanley 2


Posted by Christine at 07:45 PM

fisherperson house in Stanley 1


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Stanley 54


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Stanley 53


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Stanley 52


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Stanley 51


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hermit crab in the South China Sea


Posted by Christine at 07:38 PM

Stanley 50


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Stanley 49


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Stanley 48


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Stanley 47


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Stanley 46


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Stanley 45


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Stanley 44


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Stanley 43


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Stanley 42


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Stanley 41


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Stanley 40


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stanley 39


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Stanley 38


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Stanley 37


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stanley 36


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Stanley 35


Posted by Christine at 07:21 PM

March 05, 2005

Stanley beach


as you can see, the sand here is quite coarse. This is the first HK beach I've been to so maybe other ones have finer sand. I found lots of cool seashells and weathered rocks. I also saw a little hermit crab in the water :-) I took these as good signs to wet my hand in the water and taste the water a little. It was really salty but the sea water smell was much milder then I've ever smelled before. As the coldest it's been here was like 2 days of 6 C around New Years Eve, the water wasn't frigid but still a lot colder than I would like ;-) The air temp was about 15 C when I visited, this is in mid-Feb. No one was in the water while I was there. People bundle up here for 8 -15 C days, not with a scarf covering their nose kind of bundling but still wearing heavy jackets, gloves and hats. I should add that when the temp hits the Celsius teens but it is sunny- people are less bundled. I also wear my hooded Chicago winter jacket here with mittens when it is overcast and the temp is below 13C or so. I still preceive this (relatively) mild winter as cold but it amuses me because I know people back home would feel this is T-shirt winter. I consider warm to be about 25-28 C so I guess I am more at home in the semi tropics than I am in NYC/Chicago/Toronto.

Posted by Christine at 12:38 AM

Stanley 34


I'm not sure what these places are. I peeked inside one of them and it didn't look like a home. I did notice there were several pics of Mao Tse-Tung on the walls though.
I should add here that Stanley is a section of Hong Kong Island, far south and it's a pennisula. It was an overcast day but still it was quite beautiful. I hope to be able to revisit it in nicer weather. Stanley Market is a big tourist destination but I was much more impressed with the landscape. I think a lot of wealthy Westerners live here as well as poorer Chinese fisherman. This is the first place where I saw a non Chinese driving a car. When I look in real estate ads in the English papers the only listings are for parts of HK isle, including Stanley. The rents and home prices are astronomical in these listings- close to a million dollars USD to buy.

Posted by Christine at 12:26 AM

Stanley 33


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Stanley 32


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Stanley 31


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Stanley 63


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Stanley 29


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Stanley 28


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Stanley 27


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Stanley 26


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Stanley 25


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Stanley 24


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Stanley 24


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Stanley 23


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March 04, 2005

Stanley 22


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Stanley 21


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Stanley 20


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Stanley 19


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Stanley 18


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Stanley 17


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Stanley 16


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Stanley 15


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Stanley 14


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Stanley Plaza 2


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Stanley Plaza 1


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Stanley 13


Posted by Christine at 11:50 PM

South China Sea 2


Posted by Christine at 06:34 PM

Stanley 12


Posted by Christine at 06:33 PM

South China Sea


Posted by Christine at 06:33 PM

Stanley 11


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Stanley 10


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Stanley Market 2


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Stanley thrift store find 3


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Stanley thrift store find 2


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Stanley thrift store find 1


Posted by Christine at 06:28 PM

Stanley Market 1


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Posted by Christine at 06:26 PM

Stanley 9


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Stanley 8


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Stanley 7


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Stanley 6


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Stanley 5


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Stanley 4


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Stanley 3


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Stanely 2


Posted by Christine at 06:19 PM

Stanely 1


Stanely is a pennisula, southern HK Isle.

Posted by Christine at 06:18 PM

March 02, 2005

why I decided to stay in HK

1. I had huge reservations returning to the states. I don't feel safe there nor do I agree with the government. Sure, it was only for 2 years or so but life is too short being somewhere you don't want to be. I could make the best of it, this is not to say there aren't great things about NYC. But the main draw was getting a MA and being around my friends and family. I found out there may be some programs here where I can work on an MA and have it paid for. And I've already made that mistake twice moving to be with people I love. As much as I miss everyone, I refuse to make that mistake again.
2. Seeing other parts of HK and realizing I don't have to live in Kowloon makes me feel that I appreciate what HK has to offer more than what NYC does. NYC is a beautiful place with much to offer and enjoy but I've been there for 25 years. I really want to live among new scenery and besides HK on a whole has more natural beauty than NYC does. I can see new plants, trees, flowers and rocks here. And that is something I really enjoy.
3. Now, I have found the party culture I seek and finally found where some of the freaks like me in HK are. I've always felt 'at home' here but now more than ever.
4. Being a foreigner, I have a lot more freedom to be myself than I would in the states. Whatever strange ways I have are written off as me being an American which is fine by me as long as I am not seen as a threat. And so far in HK, my ways have been accepted and welcomed. NYC is a very tolerant place but I feel HK is even more.
5. Another reason I wanted to leave was because I felt it was not honest for me to stay doing a job I cannot do. But when I told the boss that in Dec, he said it was okay to just teach English, which I can do. I cut my schedule down and now it is a slack job. I only work like 16 hours a week. But that was bothering me too. I felt like that was taking an easy way out and I want more challenge in a job. The thing is that if I went back to NYC, I'd be even more like a slacker until July. So, I am better off staying with this job in HK until I get a more challenging one. I didn't try to find other work. And many people over the past several weeks have given me new information that leads me to think I can find a great paying job that is not soul sucking and is challenging. If not, then I can decide to go somewhere else in July to teach (like in China) and then reapply to the NYC program next year if I still want to do that.
6. I really felt that I was being too willful in making the NYC thing work out. I knew I'd be facing many hardships being poor, living at my childhood home for like 6 months until I could begin working in NYC. Yes, I could do it but that doesn't mean I should. If the NYC thing was where I could go back in June or July, then I would reconsider. But it's not, I need to interview in March, take tests in April then wait until July and being realistic, that sucks a lot. I don't think I have grown enough to not let that suckiness get to me.
7. I feel my teaching style would meet much less resistance than it would as a teacher in the NYC Board of Education. I've been really thinking about the red tape and school politics drama, if I am strong enough now to withstand it. I'd like to think I am but when I really am honest with myself, I think not.
8. I know living in NYC my accent would come back 100%. And I don't want that, having that accent makes me feel very self conscious of my voice. And I don't want to be around English all the time again. I really like hearing Cantonese, trying to figure out what is being said. The same thing with the signs, I like trying to figure out the characters. The best way to learn a language is to be surrounded by it and in NYC, I would mostly be around English. I get very excited when I can read a part of a sign or understand something being said to me in Cantonese. And there is enough English around so I don't get too frustrated or feel lost.
9. With my education, experience and personality, I think I can be choosy about what teaching jobs I can get here. People who live here have told me that and it makes sense, they have no motive to lie. I can probably get a job here where I make as much as I would in NYC. Aside from rent, cost of living in HK is fairly low if you live simple like I do. In NYC, food and clothes are way more expensive than here.
10. I like the variety of fresh fruit and veggies I can get here. Overall, the quality of food here is much better. I actually like to drink milk now. For a long time I thought I didn't like chocolate but it turns out that I don't like American chocolate. Now that my mom sent me grated cheese and Vietnamese soup boullion cubes, the only thing I miss is pizza. But maybe I'll find a good pizza place here in HK if I keep searching. I eventually found good pizza in Chicago so it is possible.
11. I don't want to be a quitter. I was feeling a bit like a loser giving up so soon. Even though the 4 months has felt like 4 years, it still is a short time.
12. I have somethings to offer my new friends here and they have things to offer me. These things are the different things we have learned in our life experiences. My friend A speaks Spanish, other new friends speak Cantonese and Mandarin (and probably other lanuages too). I can learn to eat better, get new perspectives on things that effect everyone, learn new exercises. And my new friends are interested in the things I can teach them. I much rather learn from friends than in a school or from a book. Some things like poi and Tai Chi, we are all are interested in and want to learn more, we can help one another in these pursuits.
13. I think I found a group to start gaming with- A's children :-) They are very intelligent and creative and they never heard of RPGs. I think they would enjoy gaming a lot and this is beneficial to them and also to me. Some of them like games like Diablo so I think D&D and Exalted would be up their alley.
14. These new friends are very perceptive and honest people and remind me a lot of what draws me to Toronto.
15. If I get a better paying job, I will have more opportunities to visit places I've always wanted to since I am much closer being in HK.
16. I think what I needed was to know that I do have other excellent options, that I am not stuck here. When I was upset with the job situation here and aggrivated by Kowloon life, I felt that my only choice was to go back to the same old thing and that made me feel really upset. Now I know that is not the case, and I feel much better knowing I am choosing to stay here, not that it is the least of the evils.
17. I can see a future for myself here- beach psy trance parties, living on a semi tropical island with 'civilization' only 2 ferry rides away (45 mins total). Having lots of freedom and feeling safe. And maybe if I get myself established, I can help friends make a new life here.
18. I found books in English when I went to the central library :-)
19. I thought about my mom and dad. They are opposite people but I am a lot like the both of them. I don't want to wind up like them though. My dad sacrificed his sanity by working at a job he hated and trying to conform. I remember when I was little, he'd suggest to my mom we just pack up and move to Australia to live a simpler life. And here I am, with the desire and opportunity to do something like that. I don't feel that I should force myself to conform or live a life I don't want to, especially since no one is dependent on me. I do have my mom's ambition to not just drop out of society. I feel here, I may be able to strike a balance between the two.
20. And this morning on the way to work, I had a realization. This life I live here is so unusual. I bet I could count on my hands the number of North Americans who live (or have lived) in Yau Ma Tei and worked in a HK housing project. I was thinking, how did I wind up here (heh, this reminds me of a Talking Heads song). And when I think back to how I did, I was thinking how did I wind up there. Thinking further back, how did I wind up there. And so on... And I realized that these strange paths will present themselves because of prior actions, as long as I keep my heart good, stay self aware, and have courage to take chances. I stagnate while living a 'normal' and safe life. While I do feel I was born with good luck, I also see that because of choices I have made, this has given me even more unordinary options. I shouldn't fear my luck will run out because I do have some control over what I choose to do. And in choosing what is compelling (as long as my heart is good and I am fully self aware and courageous, these strange paths will continue to open for me. I realized that taking strange paths will show me more strange paths. I cannot deny anymore that I am drawn to the strange. And as I age, I will gain more wisdom and knowledge so I can I feel more confident in taking these strange paths. And I will continue to grow and live life to the fullest. And really, isn't that what life is all about. I've already put myself on a course to let the wind take me where it will and it always works out. It seems silly to force myself into a situation where I think (according to the mainstream) I will be a better person and be more secure. I have proven to mysef time and time again, that if I got what I thought I wanted, it would lead to a dead end. I just need to stay confident, true to myself and most importantly, stay self aware, go with the winds. I am not saying that I am relinquishing my free will. It is a choice I am making to let things I never expected to happen and then soul search to decide. I am starting to feel more confident that I am aware of my evil side and when I make a choice, I am being considerate of myself and the greater good, without being a martyer.
21. I am also becoming more trustful that the friendships and family I was born with and have chosen will stay with me and love me, no matter how physically far away I may be. That if I do something hurtful or makes them angry, they will let me know. That they understand how I tick and will allow me to make some mistakes to learn from but if it is something they feel may destroy me or is dishonest, they will speak up and call me on it. My idealized self is very different than my real self. But I need to trust that my loved ones see my real self and love me as that, not that they love my idealized self.
22. When things like this weekend happen when they do, it is humbling. I realize, I know very little. I can analyze and plan all I want but anything can happen, possibilities are endless.
23. At first, I had a #23 just to end at 23 ;-P But a moment later, I realized there is another reason. I finally feel being here, I am making a difference. I am contributing to the kind of world I want to see and live in.
24. heh, okay there is a #24 but 3 times my fave number is 8 so 24 is good for a 'tard like me to end on ;-)... fuck Northern North American winters, snow and 0 degree (F or C) temperatures. I love that the coldest it has been here so far is 6 C :-D

Posted by Christine at 10:06 AM